G6 Murder Mystery + due date

There are a lot of exciting things going on Grade 6 English right now!  First, our Murder Mystery Party is Monday, May 26, from 6:00 – 8:00.  All the students have their characters and are gearing up to solve the mystery!  Second, the students are working on writing their own Detective Story.  We have been doing pre-writing and the first draft of the story is due on Wednesday, May 28.  So, make sure to get started writing your story this weekend!

For more information on the Murder Mystery, here is the email that was sent to all the parents:

Dear Parents of Grade 6,
As you know from our blog (aisjenglish.wordpress.com) Grade 6 is doing a Sherlock Holmes Detective unit in English.
Currently, students are preparing to write their own detective story.  While we are in this writing process, I have planned a fun afternoon where students can practice the deductive skills they have been studying.
This Monday, May 26, we will be having a Murder Mystery Dinner. The event will be from 6:00 – 8:00.  What happens is each person is assigned a character, someone “dies”, and then everyone must use the clues given to figure who committed the crime.  It is not required, but encouraged for everyone to come dressed up!
To make this a fun and successful event, I would appreciate help from you!  These activities are typically done around a dinner, so we are going to make this activity a “pot-luck”.  Are you willing to bring one of the following items?
  • a dish to share
  • dessert
  • drinks
  • paper table cloths, utensils, plates, cups
Parents, you are invited to attend and watch and help facilitate the event if you wish!
Please give permission for this activity by replying to Mr. Dinin in an email. As characters have been assigned, it is essential that everyone comes to the mystery dinner. If you have questions, comments, or would like to come and help, please contact me.
Thank you for your support and help.  I think this will be memorable event for the kids, and will be a fun way to practice their critical thinking skills!
Allison Barlow



G6: Miscellaneous

Grade 6,

I hope that you’re enjoying our study of the stories of Sherlock Holmes so far.  This unit will only get progressively better!

Recently, everyone chose books to read for the Independent Reading project.  The assignment for the book is due April 28th, and the assignment itself can be found here: Test

Also, discussion of the Rwandan genocide has been in the news a lot recently.  You can google it and find a lot of current articles on the topic if you wish to know more about it.  Here is one that I read, written by a Rwandan, about one of the reasons why the Rwandan people were persuaded to commit violent acts: Following Orders in Rwanda

Enjoy your holiday!

G6: Detective Unit

Grade 6 is beginning an exciting and fun new unit based on the stories about Sherlock Holmes!  In this unit we will focus on practicing critical thinking as we follow Sherlock Holmes in the short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The summative task for the unit will be to write your very own detective story!

I look forward to solving mysteries with you!

Look here for the unit overview: Detective Overview

G9: Writing to Review

Grade 9 will be writing reviews on the books they chose to read, and they will post their reviews to Amazon.com.  So, if you’re looking for a recommendation on what book to read, you can check out the reviews on Amazon!

Here is a link to the podcast: Can We Still Be Friends?.  Check it out to hear reviews on the movie Gladiator.

I look forward to reading your reviews!


AACI Competition

Parents and Students,

I am happy to announce that AISJ is entering into the AACI competition once again!  Every year we have students from our school win prizes for their work.

The AACI is an American/Canadian association in Israel, and they host this competition for writing and artwork, awarding prizes for the top work.

We have seen excellent work from our students in English this year and want to submit it so that they can be recognized and proudly display their work!

Please submit to Ms. Barlow or Mr. Gonzalez a poem or story that you would like to enter into the competition.  The maximum length is 2 sides of A4 paper.  Submission is not required, but it is encouraged!  We need submission by this coming Monday, March 17.  We will accept them by email (barlowa@aisj.co.il) or hard-copy.

You can see the flyer here: AACI flyer and for more details, speak with Ms. Sullum, who is the event organizer for the school.

We hope to receive submissions from all of our students!!

Ms. Barlow and Mr. Gonzalez


G9: New Unit!

Grade 9 students finished their unit on poetry, and they impressed me greatly.  I think that we all enjoyed it, the ‘treasure-hunting’ in poems, and the students did outstanding work in their presentations.  I hope that this inspires them to continue reading and writing poetry!

We’ve had a content-heavy year so far, and we’re all ready for our next unit, which is a media unit on action-adventure films!  The overarching goal of the unit is to learn to have a critical and thoughtful eye regarding the media that we consume on a daily basis.  I believe strongly that media units such as this are not only useful for providing life skills, but that it is necessary to be media-literate in a critical manner for success in most fields today.

Here you can find our unit overview: Action Overview.  And here you can find our basic glossary for cinematic terminology: Action Film Glossary

I assigned homework yesterday, and the students asked me to post it on the blog so that their parents would believe them.  I want to have one film that everyone in the class has seen, so that we can use it as a reference for our discussions throughout the unit.  The film I chose is Die Hard, because it is a quintessential action film, and it encompasses everything we will be analyzing.  The students were asked to watch the film before class on Wednesday.  Based on a survey completed in class, the students said their parents would allow them to watch the movie.  If this is not the case, however, and you do not want your student to watch the film, then please advise them to watch the movie Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I am excited about this unit, and I know the students are too.  I’m looking forward to exploring this medium together!

G9: Poetry

Today began an exciting new unit on poetry!  This is the year when we begin to learn how to analyse poetry, and when we learn to think in a new, creative, subtle way.  I can’t wait for it!  It’s like a treasure hunt– we read a poem and then together, we dig out all the gold.  If you want to know what’s going on for this unit, check out the unit overview: Poetry Overview.

If you enjoyed today’s poem as much as I did, Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou, here is the clip we watched of her reading the poem:

This is also a reminder that your indie reading and interview questions are due on Monday, don’t forget!  Parents, I look forward to seeing you at conferences on Friday.